[ see-teyn ]
/ ˈsi teɪn /


a colorless, liquid hydrocarbon of the alkane series, C16H34, used as a solvent and in cetane number determinations.

Nearby words

  1. cet. par.,
  2. ceta,
  3. cetacea,
  4. cetacean,
  5. cetaceum,
  6. cetane number,
  7. cetatea albă,
  8. cete,
  9. ceteris paribus,
  10. ceti

Origin of cetane

First recorded in 1930–35; cet- + -ane

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for cetane


/ (ˈsiːteɪn) /


a colourless insoluble liquid alkane hydrocarbon used in the determination of the cetane number of diesel fuel. Formula: C 16 H 34Also called: hexadecane

Word Origin for cetane

C19: from Latin cētus whale + -ane, so called because related compounds are found in sperm whale oil

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Science definitions for cetane


[ sētān′ ]

A colorless liquid hydrocarbon derived from petroleum. It is used as a solvent and a component of diesel fuels. Chemical formula: C16H34.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.